UH West O‘ahu awarded nearly quarter million dollar ONR grant

Grant to fund STEM Center of Excellence

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Julie Funasaki Yuen, (808) 689-2604
Communications Department
Posted: Mar 24, 2014

The University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu received a $245,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to establish a Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Center of Excellence at the University.

The grant funding will be used initially to:

  • Transform UH West O‘ahu’s existing physical science laboratory into an interactive STEM Center of Excellence.
  • Explore the development of the University’s first STEM-related academic program in Facilities Management – a new interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science concentration involving science, pre-engineering, facility operations, energy efficiency, and business coursework.
  • Furnish UH West O‘ahu science laboratories with essential hands-on equipment to support student learning and K-12 teacher education.
  • Create an interactive “STEM-Center Portal” at the entrance to the STEM Center of Excellence that displays science and technology related real-time activities such as current seismic activity, weather conditions, campus building energy usage, atmospheric pressure and more.
  • Create the first STEM Center of Excellence community outdoor activity - the “The Solar System Stroll,” a two-mile round-trip heart-healthy walk through a sidewalk solar system display on the UH West O‘ahu campus.
  • Create a EZ-H2O Water Filling Station as a tool to support STEM education.

The STEM Center of Excellence projects will be developed as an interdisciplinary partnership by UH West O‘ahu Science and Business Administration faculty. 

“STEM is extremely important in today’s economy,” said UH West O‘ahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas. “This generous grant allows the University to enhance the student learning experience by equipping our labs with the latest STEM tools, and spurs the development of new, career-related academic programs whose interdisciplinary nature should appeal to both students and prospective employers.”

“The potential for participation with private industry partners in the development of Facilities Management and other new academic programs housed under the STEM Center of Excellence at UH West O‘ahu makes this a very exciting endeavor,” said UHWO Director of Strategic Initiatives and Principal Investigator Sherry Proper.

UH West O‘ahu became a four-year, regional comprehensive university when it served its first class of freshmen in fall 2007. The University offers quality education, small classes and personalized attention at convenient locations. UH West O‘ahu serves approximately 2,400 students at its brand new, state-of-the-art campus that opened in the City of Kapolei in 2012. For more information, visit uhwo.hawaii.edu, twitter.com/uhwestoahu, facebook.com/uhwestoahu or call (808) 689-2800 or toll-free (866) 299-8656.

The Office of Naval Research coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Science and technology investments enable the technical superiority of US naval forces by producing knowledge and transitions, and growing a healthy science and engineering workforce. For more information, visit http://www.onr.navy.mil/